Malaria heroes 1: Krongthong Thimasarn

Beyond the glitz and glamour of malaria advocacy on the world stage, there is a cadre of dedicated individuals that is working hard in malaria control everyday. Community volunteers, health services staff, researchers, control managers, and others may not appear in the papers, but their work is the basis for any progress achieved. I think it’s important to take some time and highlight a few people.

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My first post in this series is on Dr Krongthong Thimasarn, regional adviser for malaria at theĀ  Southeast Asia Regional Office of the World Health Organization.

Highlights:

  • Former director of the Malaria Division at the Thai Ministry of Public Health, arguably the best malaria control program in the world
  • Founding member of ACTmalaria network – a collaborative training network for Asia
  • Medical doctor and graduate of the Thailand Field Epidemiology Training Program

In Thailand Dr Thimasarn saw Plasmodium falciparum grow resistant to chloroquine, sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine, and mefloquine in succession – what a nightmare and challenge! Her knowledge of program implementation is incredible and she understands the realities which governments often face. But more importantly, she never let those hurdles stand in the way of necessary actions or relevant evidence, no matter how difficult the changes would be or how inconvenient the data was. If you work in public health, you understand how valuable this is. Dr Thimasarn’s amazing work ethic has continued at WHO where she can often be found working as late as 8pm in the evening, including Saturdays. It is a type of dedication that is rarely matched.

If you know other malaria heroes and would like to recognize them, please email me a guest post and I will be happy to publish it.

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